Best Compost Bins (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
These top compost bins will make it easy to start composting right at home.
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON April 8, 2021
It’s no secret that composting is a practice that’s great for the environment — and it can also be amazing for your garden, your yard, and your property in general. Composting turns food scraps into nutrients that are great for plants of all kinds. But to turn your compost into awesome landscaping or garden results, you need to make sure you’re equipped with a compost bin. A compost bin collects your scraps and kickstarts the decomposition process, offering aeration and moisture retention so you can achieve just the right balance and create the perfect compost for your yard. If you want to start composting or simply want to improve your current process, a good bin is vital. Check out our picks for the best compost bins in our guide below.
A sleek compost bin that helps control odors without restricting the natural composting process.
- Holds 1.3 gallons
- Includes replaceable charcoal filters
- Durable enough to last for years
- Small size is best for countertop storage
An affordable, attractive, and versatile compost bin you can use in many ways.
- Slim, rectangular profile fits anywhere
- Made of non-toxic plastic
- Hangs, mounts, or stands upright
- Lid requires you to have one hand free
An extra-large, highly durable compost bin that enhances and improves the composting process.
- Two chambers: one for new scraps, one for curing compost
- Sits right in your yard or garden
- Makes mixing compost easy
- Mechanism can break over time
- Too large for small spaces
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Compost Bin
- Enriches your home’s soil. Composting allows you to add organic matter to the soil around your home’s outdoor spaces like planters, gardens, and even yards. This enriches the soil, helping plants better retain moisture and grow with fewer diseases and pests.
- Replaces chemical fertilizers. Using a compost bin and adding what’s inside into your garden can eliminate your need to use fertilizer — including chemical fertilizers. You can forgo sprays and other specialty products meant to help plants grow since compost is a natural fertilizer.
- Makes composting easy. Installing a compost bin either outdoors, in your garage, or right in your kitchen makes the composting process incredibly easy. You can toss in compost material every time you come across some, and in no time at all, you’ll have a good amount of organic matter at your disposal.
- Environmentally beneficial. Using a compost bin isn’t just eco-friendly; it’s beneficial for the environment. Composting reduces methane emissions, lowers your contributions to local landfills, and reduces your carbon footprint all in one act.
Types of Compost Bins
Indoor Compost Bins
Indoor compost bins are the most common kind you’ll come across. These bins, which are small and compact, are meant to sit right in your kitchen — some are even designed to sit on your countertop — so you can easily turn kitchen scraps into compost. They may be small, but they make composting a daily habit so you have a continuous supply for your plants. It’s a great choice if you’re new to composting or want to encourage your whole household to compost.
Continuous Compost Bins
Continuous compost bins are large, and they’re suitable for spaces like your yard or your garage. They allow you to continuously add new material, like kitchen scraps, yard waste, or other compost-worthy waste, to the top of the pile inside the bin. Over time, true compost is generated and settles into the bottom of the bin. You can then remove that matter and use it in your yard or garden as needed. A continuous compost bin is simple and straightforward, and it requires little maintenance.
Batch Compost Bins
Batch compost bins are a more active way to create compost. These large bins, which are typically built for outdoor use and storage, allow you to toss compost material inside and turn them with a tumbling mechanism. As the compost tumbles, it accelerates the process of breaking down waste into garden-worthy compost. It’s a speedy option if you want to create compost quickly, but it does require work on your part. You’ll have to turn the compost bin daily and keep a close eye on what’s inside.
If you’re looking to do any kind of work in your yard or garden, you likely turn to Miracle-Gro products. First founded in 1868 to help farmers clear weeds from their fields, Miracle-Gro is now one of the biggest names in gardening and landscaping. And compost items like the Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Bin offer both quality and reliability.
Oxo Good Grips
Oxo Good Grips, which is a line of products by Oxo, offers products that are designed to make your everyday home life easier and simpler. Best known for its handy and well-designed kitchen products, Oxo is a staple in households everywhere. The brand even offers composting products, including the Oxo Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin.
Compost Bin Pricing
- Under $30: For $30 or less, you’ll find a wealth of small compost bins that are designed to be used anywhere. These compact cans come in many different styles, materials, and shapes, and they’re great for keeping in the kitchen.
- $35 and up: If you’re searching for a larger, more durable, or outdoor-ready compost bin, you’ll find them priced at $35 or more. These compost bins are more varied, and some can hit $100 or more in price.
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to compost. The larger your compost bin is, the longer it’ll take for whatever’s inside to turn into usable compost. Smaller can be more convenient and used more quickly. Look for a compost bin that’s big enough to collect your scraps, yet small enough to create compost quickly. Even larger compost bins can come with smaller compartments, which is especially handy.
Collecting compost shouldn’t be a stinky task, but when your compost materials hang out together, the smell can potentially become a problem. To ensure the right balance of fresh air and odor control, look for compost bins that feature air vents and filters (charcoal filters are the best). This should keep odors under control without issues.
Tough Plastic Material
Compost bins can be made out of almost anything, from plastic to wood to metal. But the best choice is a bin that’s made out of tough plastic — like thick recycled plastic. A plastic compost bin does a great job of absorbing heat, locking in moisture, and helping to create the right mix of compost. Plastic can also be weather-resistant, which is ideal if you’re keeping your bin outdoors instead of inside. You want it to be durable and able to last.
- Consider Whether You Want Worms. You can turn scraps and waste into compost in two ways: letting it happen naturally or adding worms. If you’re interested in worm composting, it’s important to choose a compost bin that welcomes — and can safely contain — worms as well as compost material. Worm composting systems or bins are a bit different than your average conventional composting bin, so make sure to choose the right fit.
- You’ll Have to Turn Your Compost in Any Bin. Trying to decide whether you want a simple stationary compost bin or a tumbling compost bin? Both have their pros and cons, but keep in mind the fact that you’ll have to turn (or tumble) your compost no matter what. To keep it properly mixed and balanced, you’ll need to mix up the compost material no matter which kind of bin you choose.
- Dark Bins Can Be Better. A dark-colored compost bin can be a smart investment. While you might not care too much about the color yourself, it matters to the composting process. Dark-colored compost bins absorb more heat, especially if they’re placed in sunny spots. This can speed up the process of turning waste and scraps into compost, which can help you generate more compost in less time.
Best Compost Bins Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- If you’re wondering where to place your compost bin, aim to put it somewhere that’s convenient and near sunlight. More sunlight means more warmth, and that speeds up the composting process.
- Keep space and size in mind if you’re going for worm composting. These composting bins tend to be larger, which means they can take up more space whether you place them indoors or outdoors.
- Want as little maintenance as possible? A tumbling composting bin keeps things super simple, allowing you to toss in scraps, turn your material, and extract compost all from a single container.
Q: Are compost bins any good?
Compost bins are a fantastic addition to any household. Whether you’re working to reduce your environmental impact or benefit your garden, using a compost bin can have plenty of positive effects on everything from your plants to your annual landfill contributions.
Q: How do you use a compost bin?
Using a compost bin is simple: you just toss items that can be composted into a bin. Some bins may require more maintenance than others, or you may need to empty them into a larger compost bin (or even a pile outdoors) every so often.
Q: How do I start my compost bin?
If you’re using a compost bin, there’s little you need to do to get started. You simply place items like kitchen scraps, garden trimmings, and other items into the bin. Over time, you’ll want to enhance the composting process with additions like fertilizing microbes, water, and regular turning or stirring.
Q: Do compost bins attract rats?
Compost bins can attract rats because they’re full of items that are tasty foods to these pests. To keep rats away, make sure you choose a compost bin that seals tightly and offers no gaps or openings that rats could sneak into.
The Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin is our top choice due to its sleek design and convenient, compact size that fits anywhere. If you’re looking for a similar, yet even more affordable option, the KaryHome Hanging Compost Bin is another great choice.
Which compost bin do you find to be your favorite? Let us know in the comments.